"We run a strategic project for South Kalimantan. Our big dream in South Kalimantan is to be supporting food barn outside Java," Agriculture Minister H Andi Amran Sulaiman said during a working visit to Tajau Landung Village, Sungai Tabuk, Banjar District, Tuesday (18/12).
Amran said he was optimistic this program would have a good impact on all parties. According to him, the SERASI program is an old dream that is only realized this year.
"I am sure that with the SERASI program, farmers can profit 6 times. First, productivity increased from 2 tons to 6 tons per hectare. In addition, planting time is much shorter, from 25 days to 3 hours," he said.
South Kalimantan is one of six provinces as a pilot project for the SERASI program. The other five provinces are South Sumatra, Jambi, Lampung, South Sulawesi, and Central Kalimantan.
"The strategy for accelerating this implementation is to find alternative land to realize the ideals of Indonesia as a food barn. Moreover, the potential for swamps in Indonesia is very large," Amran said.
Swampland in the South Kalimantan region that has been identified as potentially cultivated as agricultural land reaches 450 thousand hectares. As a pilot project, an area of 200 thousand hectares of swamps will be optimized.
To optimize swamp land in this region, the Ministry of Agriculture sent assistance in the form of dozens of agricultural machinery tools (alsintan) such as large excavators, small excavators, four-wheel tractors, rice grinders, water pumps for irrigation, seeds, fertilizers, etc.
"The use of swamps will be mutually integrated between livestock land, plantations, and rice fields. The implementation is also carried out across sectors and in synergy with stakeholders, such as the Ministry of SOE (BUMN), Ministry of Public Works and Housing (PUPR), and Financial Institutions," said Amran.